What a wonderful time we had! I had heard about Earthshine from friends, but you don't really get it until you're there the first time.
The setting is wonderful. When you sit out on the porch, you have a beautiful view of the mountains. The entire lodge is secluded in the woods, and you're truly out in the middle of nowhere.
The people are wonderful, too. It's a place where you get to know people--the people who work there, and the other guests that you share a dinner table with. One woman was my guide on the high ropes course, a native-American woman in tribal village, and dressed up as the Easter bunny for the Easter egg hunt. My other high-ropes instructor was also in charge of the evening activity, and the kids hung on his every word.
Earthshine is magical for kids. Our daughter is 11, and was totally enchanted; so were smaller kids who were there. At 11 (and younger), the kids can pretty much run around to their heart's content. And since we were there at Easter, there was a huge Easter-egg hunt that all of the kids loved.
What a range of activities:
- Ziplining--fun for the entire family; really a stand-out course
- High-ropes--also fun for the entire family if the kids are old enough. There's a challenge for everyone, though.
- Pioneer village--we made candles and learned about blacksmithing. Hands-on and fun!
- Evening activites--one night was a campfire, the other was coloring Easter eggs.
Indian village--also hands-on and fun!
And did I mention that the food is incredible, too?
I think this is a stand-out vacation opportunity for families with kids 5-13. Younger than that, and they may not be able to participate in much. And older than 13--I'm not sure when they'd be too cool to find it fun. But in that age range, it's great! My daughter is already twisting my arm to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Remember that sense of wonder and adventure that gave childhood its magic? Well, get ready to feel it again. Escape to a storybook place guaranteed to exceed your expectations. Your family can unplug and reconnect with one another in an environment free of digital distractions. Earthshine is "unforgettable." ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Earthshine Mountain Hotel Lake Toxaway